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Voice of the residents'

People who live at Wind Crest set democracy in motion

Created date

July 26th, 2010

Wind Crest is a community in the truest sense of the word, one where the residents and management work together in a symbiotic relationship to make life on the 84-acre Highlands Ranch campus the best it can be. In order to do this, systems are in place to facilitate dialogue between residents and staff. Enter the Wind Crest Resident Advisory Council (RAC). The RAC is just like any other democratic system. It ensures residents have a say in how things are being run in their community. The council has representatives that correspond to administrative departments within Wind Crest: Marketing, General Services, Erickson Advantage, Dining Services, Finance, Government Affairs, Health Services, and Resident Life. Residents are elected to seats on the RAC and serve for a certain term. Vice President and Secretary of the RAC Karen Weerts has been involved with the program since its inception. Weerts moved to Wind Crest one month after the campus opened in 2007, and she wanted to be involved in a productive and meaningful way. My husband and I loved our new life at Wind Crest and we wanted to serve our new community, so he started managing the Treasure Chest, and I decided to run for the RAC, she says. Her term expires in 2011. How has the experience been so far? I ve been amazed, she says, by how the management really listens and wants to make the residents lives and home the best possible.

A committee for everything

The RAC is divided into the COTRAC, the Committees of the Residential Advisory Council. These individual committees work more closely with the residentsin conveying information back and forth. The COTRAC handles most of the resident concerns and keeps the RAC informed about the many activities and plans in each department, says Jack Jones, who served as the chairman of the COTRAC until recently and still serves as a consultant. Jones s industrial marketing experience made him the perfect candidate for the job. Though the COTRAC is tightly linked to the RAC, these individuals aren t elected to terms; rather, they are appointed by members of the RAC to serve. For example, the Marketing COTRAC is an individual appointed to organize residents interested in volunteering to work with the Marketing department. We help as table hosts, tour guides, or any other place where a resident can provide their experiences to a prospective resident, Jones says. The COTRAC has been very helpful to our office in informing us as to what they think is important for our prospective residents to hear, says Director of Marketing Jason Atwell. Instead of telling us what they want us to do, they share their thoughts and concerns that help advise our team on things that we can then focus on.

Conversation is a two-way street

The RAC is the voice of the residents to administration. In addition, we report back to the residents mainly through our bimonthly RAC forums and personal resident contacts. The information flows both ways, Weerts says. I appreciate the RAC because they work so hard to create processes and procedures that allow all those that live at Wind Crest to feel happy and well-served. The fact that they can bring their backgrounds and experiences into the conversations and decisions that they make is truly unique and amazing. What talent! Atwell says. All residents are encouraged to get involved and voice their opinions. RAC was formed primarily to foster unity among residents and management, and with the continuing growth of the community, RAC will remain a forum for individuals to be heard and for all the unique voices that make up the Wind Crest community to stand as one. 

RAC declaration

Taken directly from RAC archives The purpose of RAC is to establish a democratic body representing all residents and to utilize the talents of those residents for leadership; to act as a liaison body between residents and management; to advise management as to the perceptions of the residents regarding the quality of services provided them; to advise residents as to the purposes behind management policies that affect them; to promote the health, comfort, and safety of the residents of Wind Crest and to assist management and staff to improve services; to cultivate a spirit of cooperation and friendship among residents and enhance enjoyment of the Wind Crest community by encouraging resident participation; to work with management and residents in a spirit of cooperation with the goal of maintaining a high-quality environment for the good of all concerned.